Checking that one last email interrupts one of your body's crucial processes.
It all starts with photons. The screens of our smartphones and and laptops emit photons that prevent our brains from producing melatonin. As a result, we can’t fall asleep. But everyone deals with lack of sleep, right? What’s the big deal?
For a long time in human history, the purpose of sleep was an enigma. “What we now know sleep is likely doing,” Dr. Siegel explains, “is allowing your active neurons to rest. But, more than that, the supportive cells, called glial cells, are cleaning up the toxins that the neurons produced.” For 95 percent of the population, at least 7 hours of sleep are required for this process. If you sleep for fewer hours, toxins remain that can cause permanent damage to memory, decision-making processes, and more.
So, the next time you’re tempted to check those notifications before bed, consider finding screen-free ways to unwind instead. Your neurons will thank you for it.